HMV's administrators are to close 66 shops at the music chain in the UK in a move set to cost nearly 1,000 jobs.

Deloitte said the shops would continue to trade but the closures were expected over the next one to two months.

Nine shops will close in Northern Ireland.

Administrator Nick Edwards said the shops had been identified as part of an ongoing review of the company's financial position and the group still hoped to secure a future for the restructured business.

''This step has been taken in order to enhance the prospects of securing the business' future as a going concern,'' he said.

''We continue to receive strong support from staff and are extremely grateful to them for their commitment during an understandably difficult period," he added.

The group, which currently has 220 UK stores, called in the administrators last month, but hopes of a rescue deal have been raised after restructuring firm Hilco - the group behind HMV Canada - bought the company's debt.